WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There has been an outpouring of support for injured Wichita police officer Brian Arterburn since he was critically injured earlier this year.
Local businesses and citizens held fundraisers, put out yard signs, and sold t-shirts all to support the Arterburn family.
The owner of Jewelry Savers in Wichita tells KSN News that they felt compelled to get involved after seeing the support across social media. They gave both Brian and his wife a tungsten ring with a thin blue line.
After some thought, they decided to go one step further.
“Originally, this was just for the Arterburn family,” said Kim Briers, owner of Jewelry Savers. “But after a while we thought, these rings should be extended to all law enforcement.”
Kim tells KSN it started as an idea and a post.
“We got almost 20,000 shares on Facebook,” said Mark Payne, Jewelry Savers manager.
Before they knew it, word had spread throughout the community, and crowds showed up to get their thin blue line rings.
“There have been police officers in here nonstop, five days a week,” said Kim. “And I love to see them coming; this is all about them right now.”
So far, hundreds of tungsten thin blue line rings have been given out to local law enforcement.
“Right now, we’re signing people up on a waiting list for their rings,” said Kim. “We plan to place another order soon.”
Jewelry Savers is the first in Wichita to offer officers these rings, and they say the reason is simple.
“For all they do for us, it’s the least we can do,” said Mark Payne. “We appreciate them and love what they continue to do for our community.”
An officer in the store, signing up for the waiting list, says this is a sign that the attitude towards law enforcement is changing.
“I’ve been working there for 10 years, and when I first got there, it wasn’t a lot of support,” said Danielle Woodard. “It seems like over the year more and more businesses and more and more citizens are supporting what we do and that’s awesome.”